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Linda Colvard Dorian

Central to a democracy are fair elections — elections that were not always fair, as we know. The Constitution had to be perfected to allow blacks and women to vote, because the vote was originally limited to white men who were trusted to own or dominate the rest of us.

President Donald Trump is charged with two violations: first, the conditioning of the awarding of foreign military aid to Ukraine upon Ukraine’s announcement of criminal investigations of Vice President Joe Biden — the likely Democratic presidential candidate — and his son. The second violation was President Trump’s failure to comply with lawful requests by congressional oversight committees.

The logjam of withholding military aid to the detriment of Ukrainian troops was broken by a federal employee who blew the whistle on the content of a phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president — content that clearly stated the president’s intent.

Federal law protects the identity and the job of the whistleblower, whose life has been threatened.

The timing of events is important. Trump’s call to the Ukrainian president occurred on the very next day following the testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who had investigated Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

President Trump’s call to President Zelensky of Ukraine was clearly an attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential election of 2020 to his own benefit.

The established pattern of unlawfully influencing a presidential election renders ironic the Republican protests of impeachment now, when an election is only months away. Setting up an unfair election destroys a democracy.

To assess the result that President Trump seeks requires that you examine his conduct throughout his lifetime. He acts solely in his self-interest, lies more often than he tells the truth, is ignorant and disdainful of learning basic facts of international relations and history, and seeks to emulate tyrants and murderous dictators to the detriment of our national interest and that of our allies.

He admires no one more than President Vladimir Putin of Russia, our avowed enemy and a former KGB agent who regularly assassinates journalists and opponents.

I am chilled by video showing Trump seeking information on the brief amount of time Ukraine could successfully oppose Russian aggression without U.S. help.

I am further appalled by Trump’s response to false rumors that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, a known fighter of corruption with a reputation for integrity and a 34-year record of loyal service, had spoken disparagingly of him. “Take her out,” he said, at a public meeting with his donors.

Trump’s speech and his actions are on the side of our enemies, designed to harm our country rather than to serve it.

If President Trump is not convicted in his impeachment and removed from office, what possible chance do we have of a free and fair presidential election?

— Dorian, an attorney, is a former adjunct professor of constitutional law at the National Law Center, George Washington University. She lives in DeLand.